There's no battle. The damn blog format asked me for a title and... well... I just panicked.
"Record" rainfall yesterday in the state of Texas. So many meteorological firsts, so little time...
The period button keeps sticking on my laptop... I'll have to work with it...
When we last spoke, Seb and I had been spared an uncomfortably wet night in our tent by an uncomfortably attractive lady offering us shelter and solace. For those of you who believe that into every life, however charmed, a little rain must fall, the last two days have been a steady drizzle, relieved occasionally by heavy rain, allowing us to appreciate the splendour of drizzle in all it's subtle dampness.
Thought we were lost for a little while yesterday. Now that there are more roads to choose from, our bike map is flexing it's creases and taking paths that make backroads sit up and appreciate that things could be a lot worse. For about fifteen miles we wandered along a crumbling lane, over hill and dale, the hills topped by stark, vulture-laden, leafless trees, the dales ravaged by flash flood erosion, and every mile or so we'd pass through gates and enter, despite all the praying, some god-forsaken farmyard, and figure the "road" had had enough. But, just pass the henhouse or the outhouse or the doghouse, the little-lane-that-could kept farting along, passing through another gate, looking like the Yellow Brick Road ten years after the Munchkin Party repealed taxation.
At one point early-ish in this stretch, we passed a little street sign, straight out of The Andy Griffith Show, for our next turn. It was set at right angles to our lane, suggestive of an intersection, but there was no evident crossroads, and no parallel-to-our-road sign reading "Numbnuts Alley", so I was forced to conclude that the sign was just proudly announcing our path, turned at right angles to make us appreciate it in all it's glory - an announcement of sorts. But as the subsequent miles went by, and farmyard succeeded farmyard, I started to feel a little queasy, and question myself about the intersection that wasn't.
No way the official map would take us through the set of "Deliverance Too: Squeal Like an Armadillo". Was it possible that I had stopped at the sign and, even though we were to turn left, not looked left? Why would it be at a perfect right angle to the road? It didn't look like it had been bent that way by Bubba and Tex. We'd passed several other little Mayberry signs and there'd always been at least one road running off. Suddenly I could remember every minute detail of the country to the right of the marker - an utterly photographic image - but absolutely nothing to the left. Had I had a mini-stroke and was incapable, and then forgotten I was incapable, to look left?
Maybe, dear Reader, you never question yourself. Maybe you've never talked yourself into a place where Down is Up and No means Yes, but I can tell you that I had almost reached the point of quietly getting off my bike and lying down on the side of the road in the fetal position, rocking gently and making small squeaking sounds, when a REAL road came out of nowhere, with REAL signs, and Seb and I high-fived like madmen cuz we were where we were supposed to be after all. If Deliverance Too has that kind of happy ending, it's gonna be good.
Passed Jim, above, on his way to meet his beloved in Surprise, Arizona (been there, Surprised that). Jim had the hardcore vibe that you associate with people who gnaw off there arms when circumstances demand, but he was as Barc compared to another guy, Andy, we met earlier in the day. Andy is 9000 miles into a 15000 mile journey combining the three epic walking trails - Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest - with bike touring between the trailheads. When I tell you that he started heading south to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail, from it's northern terminus in Katahdin, Maine, in October, because summer hiking is for sissies, you'll appreciate that Andy, unlike me and possibly some of you, has a wonderfully flexible comfort zone.
Seb snapped a shot of this extra leaving the movie set after a particularly gruelling scene. He didn't want to tell a story either.
We'll be passing through Johnson City today. For all you Wagon Wheel fans, Tennessee scans way better than Texas. Austin looms tomorrow, a piece of Texas unlike Texas, and we're looking forward to setting our phasers on "cool".